Live Review

Big Dinner: Four Leaf Clover Single Launch, with SAMMM. and Square @ Woolly Mammoth

Big Dinner’s launch of their most recent single Four Leaf Clover, with support from SAMMM. and Square, provided a smorgasbord of local indie rock music at the Woolly Mammoth last Thursday.

Local four-piece band Square started the evening with a selection of their signature retro rock tunes. Their music was frantic and filled with energy, while their lead singer stayed still as a statue at the front and centre of stage. The juxtaposition of their vocalist’s deadpan performance with their bassist and guitarist’s enthusiastic dancing made for an entertaining watch! Square’s most recent single Pop Music was a highlight of their set, bringing energy to the audience that would carry on through the later sets of the night.

SAMMM. kept the energy of the night going with a jam-packed thirty-minute set, jumping between songs like they were playing hot potato with their backlog of tunes. Front person and songwriter Samuel Geddes had an accent that wavered between British, American, and a classic “Punk” tone, and a vocal delivery that was wonky, theatrical, and passionate, bordering on angsty. All of this, along with Sam’s range of facial expressions, made it difficult to look away from their performance. Sam and his guitarist and bassist each gallivanted all over the stage during upbeat songs, particularly amping up the dance moves in recent release Fly. Unreleased music was scattered throughout the set of originals, before ending on their latest single Stronger Now.

Headliners Big Dinner began their set with a gradually building instrumental track, subtly transitioning from the ambient sounds of a full house awaiting what they came to see into a groovy jam led by haunting sax melodies. Usually a four-piece band, additional members playing tenor sax and keys/auxilliary percussion filled out the arrangements of the tunes and helped put on a compelling live show. While usually led by vocalist and guitarist Rory Watkins, lead vocal duties were shared around with lead guitarist and bassist at different points in the set, providing refreshing changes of tone. A particularly funky track, played in the time signature of 5/4 and sung by lead guitarist Fraser Bell, was a favourite of mine for the set. The headliners played a dynamic and variety-filled setlist, closing out their time with the single that gathered everyone to the Woolly Mammoth that night, Four Leaf Clover.

- Allie Elle.

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